Braves 5, Brewers 4 (by Kyle B.)

Wayne Campbell: So, do you come to Milwaukee often?
Alice Cooper: Well, I’m a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late 1600s to trade with the Native Americans.
Pete: In fact, isn’t ‘Milwaukee’ an Indian name?
Alice Cooper: Yes, Pete, it is. Actually, it’s pronounced ‘Mill-e-wah-que’ which is Algonquin for “the good land.”

The second time I ever saw the Braves at Miller Park was in the spring of 2010, as Troy Glaus and Brooks Conrad led us to a win. Milwaukee seemed like a pretty genuine baseball town. It’s hard to knock a ballpark with a statue of Hammerin’ Hank outside.

After the game, we went looking for a bar. We briefly stopped by the Esquire-approved Milwaukee Ale House as it was closing, I got turned away from a piano bar for improper footwear, and then wandered around Water Street for another drinking establishment. I located a dimly-lit bar that looked reputable. It took approximately thirty seconds to realize every individual in the bar was drinking a pounder can of PBR. It was at this precise moment I realized I would never understand Milwaukee.

On this Andrelton Simmons Bobblehead Night, the Mill-e-wah-que Brewers were looking for a series split in Atlanta against Aaron Harang. Due to work and travel commitments, I’ve spent the last few weeks listening to Jim, Don, and Grandma on the Braves Radio Network. It’s a cold reality when you tune into Fox Sports and remember Chip Caray is paid to say words on television.

The Brewers started the scoring in the top of the first. After a bunt single and steal from leadoff man Mean Jean Segura, Certified Braves Killer Jonathan Lucroy knocked a two out double to right field to make it 1-0. Segura added a double of his own in the top of the third, and advanced to third base on a bunt by Scooter Gennett, who is somehow not a country singer. Segura would eventually score on a Lucroy single to make it 2-0 Brewers. I’m sure Lucroy is a fine human being, but I’m thrilled he’s leaving town.

Things stayed quiet in the first few innings for the Braves offense against Matt Garza. According to Chip, B.J. Upton was not pleased with hitting sixth in the lineup and was slotted in the two-hole today. The starting lineup remained Bear-less.

After working a good at-bat in the bottom of the third, Uggla (!) advanced to second on a Harang bunt (!!) and got the Braves on the board after a Heyward single. For those of you playing the classic Joe Simpson Drinking Game, Heyward’s single went to the opposite field.

The inability to put together a shut down inning after mustering some offense continued for the Braves, as the Brewers quickly struck back with an Overbay double, Khris Davis ground out, and a Logan Schafer squeeze to make it 3-1 Milwaukee.

The game stayed at 3-1 until Davis drove in Overbay in the top of the sixth to make it 4-1 Brewers. The Davis single was the end of the night for Harang, who gave up nine hits (including four doubles) without getting through the sixth inning.

Bossman, batting second, knocked a wall-scraping solo shot in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-2. Things got interesting in the seventh, as the Braves added to their score total with a Chris Johnson single, an Uggla single (!!!), and a defensive misplay by the Brewers defense on a sharp ground ball which resulted in a Laird RBI double.

In a piece of performance art, following the departure of Garza (three walks, one strikeout) and Kintzler, the Brewers proceeded to trot out random, confused relief pitchers when absolutely no one was warming up in their bullpen. If you get a chance to watch a petrified Zach Duke enter the field, it’s worth your time. Reliever Rob Wooten started posing like Willem Dafoe in Platoon. The confusion spread, and required a ten-minute review to figure out what was supposed to happen. Like an old ECW crowd, the fans at Turner Field chanted “PLAY BALL” to get the game moving. I imagine this footage will be analyzed like the Zapruder Film. Eventually, Will Smith took the hill and promptly gave up a single to pinch-hitting Ryan Doumit, putting the Braves ahead 5-4.

It should be noted that Jeff Bianchi put together an unbelievable defensive play at second base on a Jason Heyward ground ball up the middle after being double-switched into the game for defense in the bottom of the seventh. It was questionable whether Segura was on the bag for Bianchi’s backhanded glove flip, but from the crack of the bat it seemed there was no way a defender would be near the ball. The call was overturned on review after another umpire meeting (the third review out of four in the game). It was a long inning – about fifty minutes worth. Wooten was eventually brought in by the Brewers to put out the fire.

Ian Thomas, Alex Wood, David Carpenter, and Landmark Dodge Spokesman Craig Kimbrel were scoreless in relief, continuing the bullpen’s great work. It was Kimbrel’s twelfth save of the year. In the end, the final was 5-4 Braves. Harang’s squad took the rematch with Garza, winning the series 3-1.

Apart from Wednesday, it was a great series for Atlanta. The Braves took three out of four games from the leaders of the NL Central, including a great comeback win this evening and the offensive EXPLOSIONS on Monday and Tuesday. Even better, Chris Johnson added three solid singles to hopefully get his season moving in the right direction. And somehow, Uggla looked great at the plate against Garza.

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107 thoughts on “Braves 5, Brewers 4 (by Kyle B.)”

  1. On a quick side note, I wanted to thank AAR for the opportunity to recap Thursday games. And it goes without saying, but ‘Rissa is a tough act to follow. Due to work-related commitments, any getaway-day games will be recapped as soon as possible.

    When I started commenting on Braves Journal in 2007, I never imagined I’d end up writing for the main page. After writing just one recap, it places my understanding of Mac’s commitment to the site on another level. For years, Mac recapped every game with wit, humor, and terrific baseball insight. While his spirit and baseball acumen are sorely missed, I’m extremely grateful this site and community have marched on in his honor.

    Now let’s crush the Rockies and Red Sox.

  2. I agree. After you write a recap or two, you really understand how good Mac was. He was the best.

    I am sure he would love what Alex and so many posters have done since then. Great work!

  3. Just to add on to what both Smitty and Kyle said, you guys do a phenomenal job with the recaps and I am sure Mac would be proud of what you guys have done to keep this site rolling along. I stumbled upon this site several years ago and check it 100 times a day all year long to make sure I don’t miss any “breaking news” regarding my beloved Braves. Props to everyone here for making this site what it is and keeping a dude in Michigan in the loop

  4. @2 – Great writeup, and so true about the appreciation for Mac. It took me 5 days just to write up Gerald Laird. My primary insight was that he is a backup catcher. Mac was insane.

  5. 9 – I’m not laughing *at* you, but that comment cracked me up. Thanks for making me laugh this morning. I needed it.

  6. @10 – I’m happy to hear that; I’m sticking to the comment game these days. Everybody’s got a role to play. :)

  7. One thing I admire about Mac’s recaps is that he could keep it Braves-centric without making it feel like blatant homerism. The opposing players who were worth acknowledging due to their consistent level of performance got their due, and the ones who weren’t so great found themselves on the receiving end of his wit. You knew you were getting a Braves fansite recap, and yet it still felt like an objective record of what happened in the game.

    ‘Rissa also does a great job at this. And that’s not to say that Sam’s recaps aren’t also fun for taking it in the total opposite direction.

    Kyle B, really nice job.

  8. Mac was just as merciless with his sarcasm for Braves too. In fact some of his funniest barbs were aimed at Braves and former Braves.

    All of you all that actively contribute to this site are doing Mac proud. And, from the heart, thanks to all of you.

  9. I think of other teams the way I think of the space invaders from the battle of New York in “The Avengers.” Some of them ride sleds. Some of them are giant worms. All of them are nameless evil who must be vanquished.

    Giant *flying* worms.

  10. That was by far the most disappointing part of that movie, for me. Those monsters were just… not… that… impressive. It’s like Joss Whedon basically told his art department to create boring monsters for the final fight sequence as if to indicate to the audience that he didn’t view that scene as being all that important to the ensemble movie.

  11. If I ever get into space and meet an alien race intent on capturing the planet from humans, I’m going to sell them a massive secret and live high on the alien hog. “Don’t have all of your assets linked to a single mother ship, such that they fall down dead magically if someone sneaks a trojan horse through.”

    It’s like aliens never heard of distributed command and control.

  12. Exactly. Mastered interstellar travel. No concept of microbiotics.

    Also, conveniently running a version of DOS as their mainframe.

  13. Writing recaps daily like Mac did gets old fast. It is really easy to get burned out. To do it as long as Mac did is remarkable.

  14. @10 – I also wrote in my Kris Medlen write up, something to the effect of: “Having already had his Tommy John surgery out of the way, Medlen is one of our best bets to remain healthy in 2014.”

  15. Gattis still out of the lineup, Uggla at 2b.

    Kevin McAlpin ‏@KevinMcAlpin · 24m
    #Braves vs Rockies: Heyward 9, BJ Upton 8, Freeman 3, J Upton 7, Johnson 5, Simmons 6, Uggla 4, Laird 2, Floyd 1

    Same lineup as yesterday, in fact.

  16. So now like Schroedinger’s cat, we’ll never know if he’s actually dead unless we put him in the lineup to see.

  17. I’m still trying to comprehend that yesterday’s 7th inning actually happened, both from the standpoint that the Braves’ offense crawled back from a multiple-run deficit to take the lead and that a major league umpiring crew actually delayed the game for 10 minutes in an attempt to get a rule waived because a major team couldn’t get its act together.

    If you haven’t seen this explanation yet, it’s truly mind-blowing:
    http://m.jsonline.com/more/sports/blogs/260366321.html

    Nutshell of what happened:

    Brewers: Oops, we messed up. I know the rules say 8 warmup pitches on the mound, but can our guy get more?
    Ump: You poor things—let me see. Fredi, you cool with us ignoring this rule?
    Braves: Um, no.
    Ump: Really? You serious? What’s wrong with you?
    Braves: We’d like to play this game by the rules, since, you know, rules are rules.
    Ump: That’s mean. There’s got to be a way we can get this guy more pitches. Hey, I know, let’s ask New York! I mean, there’s nothing about this situation that’s reviewable, but as long as we have the headsets handy, why not use them in a way that they were never intended to be used?
    Review Ump in NY: Another review from Atlanta?
    Ump: Nope, just want to know if there’s any way we can get around a rule. You got any ideas?
    Review Ump in NY: Um…isn’t your job to know the rulebook and ensure both teams play by the rules?
    Ump: But I don’t want this guy to hurt himself! We gotta help him!
    Review Ump in NY: We have to follow the rulebook. It says the answer is no.
    Ump: Are you sure? Can you check with someone else?…can you check with the guy above him?…what about the guy above him?…do you think you could get Selig on the phone?…

    [Ten minutes later, once what little loosening 8 pitches had done for Will Smith was completely negated and his arm was as cold as it was when he left the bullpen, the ump admits defeat and lets the game resume.]

    Nutshell of what should have happened:
    Brewers: Oops, we messed up. I know the rules say 8 warmup pitches on the mound, but can our guy get more?
    Ump: LOL, no.

  18. That recap was interesting, I was under the impression that the phone call was about whether Duke was eligible or not.

    If this is true your nutshell of what should have happened is on point, the rule is the rule.

  19. I never got a firm answer on the Duke question from the radio team – was their ever an official opinion rendered? The Brewers got him up two more times

  20. @2 Thanks for your kind words! I thought your recap did a crazy game like last night’s credit. Welcome to the recapping team.

    I can’t fathom how Mac did what he did for so many years without missing a beat. Every time I write a recap, I appreciate him more. Mac and Skip Caray were more instrumental in shaping me into the fan I am today than anyone else.

    I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t think it can be repeated enough: thanks, AAR, for all the work you do keeping this place running. I know organizing what posts you don’t write and monitoring everything daily takes a lot of time. Your hard work is appreciated.

  21. @2, I started following and (rarely) commenting some in the early 2000s, not quite sure when. The first blog I ever followed. I just love this place.

  22. The TV guys read the rule that states unless the pitcher goes to the rubber or is announced then he is still eligible I believe.

  23. @33 That had been my initial impression, but then the official MLB review Twitter feed (yes, there is such a thing) tweeted something last night about the “review” being on whether Smith had gotten 8 warmup pitches or not. I thought that was strange, because it shouldn’t take 8 minutes to replay the tape and count how many pitches he had thrown (and the home plate ump should have been counting that, anyway).

    I don’t think there was ever a question on the field about whether Duke was still eligible or not. I don’t think he was officially announced, so I think he could have pitched had they opted to bring him in. I know the media was questioning it, but I think that was just because everyone was trying to figure out what in the world the umps were communicating to NY about.

  24. From http://www.closecallsports.com/2014/05/mlb-replay-reviews-343-346-buckminster.html

    **The 7th inning also featured a Replay Review in which HP Umpire and Crew Chief Fieldin Culbreth asked the Command Center in New York if Smith could throw in excess of eight warm-up pitches due to concerns over a possible injury. NY responded to Culbreth that reliever Smith, who had not warmed in the bullpen, was prohibited from throwing greater than eight warm-up pitches. Due to the nature of this rules-related Record Keeping Replay Review, Quality of Correctness has been set to “Incorrect.”**

    Rule 8.03: “When a pitcher takes his position at the beginning of each inning, or when he relieves another pitcher, he shall be permitted to pitch not to exceed eight preparatory pitches to his catcher during which play shall be suspended…”

  25. On the other hand about Duke, wasn’t there a game earlier this year where the manager signaled with the wrong hand and the umps forced the wrong-handed guy to pitch I’m thinking that was Bochy but maybe I’m crazy.

  26. I don’t think the announcement rule apply to relievers, at least not the rule Jim Powell was citing. He claimed that once a pitcher crossed the white line into the outfield he was in the game by rule. My f’ed up router is goofing up so I can’t get on mlb.com and check, but that was the claim.

  27. @31 and 34 Hilarious. Prime examples of why Braves Journal is the best.

    @36 Seconded. BTW maam, you have some talent.

  28. The first thing that comes to mind for Chip when DJ LeMahieu bats is that he’s a former Cub. Go back to Chicago, nitwit.

  29. Watching Gerald Laird behind the plate, does anyone else think he looks like he’s crossed up on every single pitch? Even fastballs over the plate, he seems to rear up on his haunches and stab at them, like he has no idea what the ball might do before it gets there.

    EDIT: – He said right as the inning ends.

  30. Is Glavine as intelligent as he seems, or is it just because I’m comparing him to Simpson and Caray, when they’re all together in the booth?

  31. So did CJ throw his helmet at Pendelton, get ejected for arguing, or hurt himself on that K?

  32. Joe said a number of personnel chased him down the tunnel, and speculated that he was having one of his temper tantrums.

    I wonder if independent reporters David O’Brien and Mark Bowman will run interference for the club again?

    (I don’t really know why they did that last time, and it’s not like I really care that Chris Johnson is an over-grown toddler. But I can’t fathom why the beat reporters would do the team the “solid” of refusing to report on it.)

  33. DOB just tweeted that CJ wasn’t removed for injury, and that Fredi will address the situation after the game. This should be interesting.

  34. CJ grabbing some bench for a few games would probably be a good thing. Dude sucks right now.

  35. Dude has been 2-4, 2-3, and 1-4 the last three games. Define “sucks right now”.

    EDIT: I’m flat out wrong. I read the game log from the wrong direction. He was 3-4 last night but he’s largely sucked for the last week or so (and most of the season, of course).

  36. I usually don’t get to watch the games so I am stuck with the smallest possible sample size, but they just showed BJ’s walk on MLB network and it seemed really promising. He took some reasonably tough pitches on the outside corner- including one called strike that I thought was a tad outside- and although I would have liked to see him swing at what looked like a fat 3-1 fastball, he seemed in control at the plate. Someone who watches every game- is this a recent trend he’s showing or just a one-off thing I shouldn’t get excited about?

  37. If Brothers threw that first pitch in the dugout Freeman was going to swing at it. Like Joe said, his mind was made up before he got into the box. That bad decision compromised the whole at bat

  38. @66 – BJ just does not swing at that pitch on the outside corner, ever. Just doesn’t swing at it. He’s been confidently watching strike three on the outside corner all season long.

    If he looks good taking a walk on pitches outside, it’s because the pitcher couldn’t get the corner. If you hit that corner, he’ll take it all day every day.

  39. @71- Thanks. I had the impression that he was swinging at a lot of outside pitches and that’s why they were working him away like that; I didn’t know it was exactly the opposite!

  40. In San Francisco, in particular, he took strike three out there about 40 times. I know he only batted like, 15 times in the series. But it felt like he accounted for two full games worth of outs, by taking strike three on the outside corner.

    (Edit: 8 k’s in the 3 games in San Fran. I can’t see how many were looking. but I’d guess 7 of the 8.)

  41. That play is in front of him. How could that have taken Justin by surprise?

    EDIT: Earlier I was going to complain about Chris Johnson hurting his teammates with his temper tantrums. After all, the team obviously believes he’s the better player, so he needs to keep himself in the game, etc.

    But he doesn’t make that play that Pena just did. Chris fields that ball, takes a step, a pump, and misses the runner by a step. Then Freeman would be left whipping it home hoping to keep the run from scoring, and after that, all bets are off. Likely as not, clown show.

  42. I know we all hate bunting. But Simmons is a ground out 6-3 waiting to happen. I’d be tempted to get that runner where a flyball can score him.

    BArF.

  43. This team is so bad at manufacturing runs. One bad at bat after another

    Edit: until Laird gets up. Huge hit right there

  44. Nice win.

    There’s been a few bouts of wildness that has made me feel like Kimbrel hasn’t been quite as dominant this season, but that’s still 36 strike-outs in 18 something innings.

  45. Braves win. Nats lose, Fish lose, Phils losing. If it weren’t for stupid rain keeping the Mets from having a chance to lose, this could be the perfect night.

  46. I don’t know about you, but this has been a little bit of a frustrating season for me. I’m really not sure who some of our players are going to be, and their results will really impact how far this team can go. With it getting towards the end of May, you start to get an idea of what the team is and is not going to do. We’ll see.

    But I think we have the tendency to reduce our fandom to the successes and failures of the current year. I just watched the Youtube video below of 2013 highlights, and I remember where I was and what I was doing pretty vividly when those highlights happened, and I remember really enjoying last year’s team. Some of my most remembered highlights: El Oso Blanco’s opposite field GS against Philly, Simmons’ throw from his butt, Medlen’s bomb and two-step around the second base bag, JUpton and BUpton walking off (remember, that was so early in the season that there was tremendous hope of the greatest brother duo in history), and HEYWARD’S GAME-ENDING CATCH IN CENTER (play of the year for me). The only sad part is it seems like this team left a great season on the field too early.

    Hope you enjoy the video. I had never seen Simmons’ trickery at the 7:20 point.

    2013 Braves Highlights

  47. @90. As bad as this team has been playing, we are still in first place at seven games above .500.

  48. @90 Thanks for posting that. I absolutely loved last year’s team. I can’t remember a year where I had so much fun watching the Braves play (the 2005 Baby Braves were close). That made the division series that much tougher to accept, though.

    I know this year’s team is virtually the same, but I don’t feel the same way about them that I did last year. I think that may be because Hudson, McCann, Medlen, and Freeman were my favorite players, and at the end of last season I really only prepared myself to not watch McCann this year. I can logically tell myself this team doesn’t need Hudson or Medlen, but emotionally I still want to root for them!

  49. Why can’t Uggla be released or DFA’d? He was historically bad last year, but this year he is far worse.

  50. Greetings from Detroit…

    Gerald Laird’s week is reminding me of the time that Alex Trevino won the catching job from Bruce Benedict, on the strength of a hot homestand. More power to you, Gerald. If Freddie & JUpton can’t come up big, leave it to the backup catcher.

    Caught Rangers/Tigers tonight at Comerica. It was a basic Tiger beatdown, complete with ringing XBHs & productive outs that moved runners and scored runs (a somewhat foreign experience.) Oh, and there was an Al Alburquerque sighting.

  51. My wife and I just had a baby boy (our first!) on Wednesday. He’s beautiful, and we brought him home yesterday. I put him in a Braves onesie, and he promptly pooped and peed all over it.

    Thanks to all that keeping this site running and make it special.

  52. @95

    Congrats DI. My daughter will be here in September. Please keep your son away. Lol.

    BJ may be turning it around.

  53. Still thinking through the implications of “Schroedinger’s Bat”

    Imagining a given pitch, swung at by Dan at a particular time, in a particular game … which cannot be both hit AND missed … As the pitch comes in, the wave function is collapsing … A millisecond later, and out of the range of possible outcomes, only one thing has occurred … I know what you’re probably thinking–but it COULD have been taken for ball four … I don’t know. Congratulations, again, DJ.

  54. Pooping and peeing in Braves uniforms is what the team has been doing all year… and in between, great joy. Congrats, DJ.

  55. Congrats, DJ. Remember sleeping fondly, because you may never experience it again.

    No ugly orange on that precious baby girl in September, Smitty. I can hook her up with some Dawgs gear if you need.

  56. DJ has a new child. I have a new album. This is how I’m not like normal people. Nonetheless. HOLY GOD THE NEW MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA IS GREAT!

  57. I was doing my thing at the Star Bar last night – game was on in a corner so I could watch bits of the latest near-fail experience in between tunes. My eyesight ain’t what it used to be, but an Uggla at bat looks just as terrible 3 feet off the ground and 20 feet away as it does up close.

    But I can’t fathom why the beat reporters would do the team the “solid” of refusing to report on it.

    Oh yes you can.

    Congrats as well to DJ – it was never my intention to do parenthood, but having done it for a few years, there is definitely something to be said for the idea. Little girls are, well, let’s say I have developed a considerable soft spot globally and individually – enough to where I am already thinking about how much it’s going to hurt when she’s not one anymore. You have a great thing before you.

  58. And I have managed to conflate the gender of Smitty’s child with DJ’s and it’s only 1230. Fine. I’ll start early today after all.

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